Fox Nation sells ads ahead of Netflix or Disney+

Streaming provider Fox Nation is already showing the commercials that its larger competitors are said to be trying to sell.

Major subscription-based streamers like Netflix and Disney+ have caught Madison Avenue’s attention by recently announcing plans to introduce ad-supported tiers to their services. Fox Nation, a smaller streaming outlet that’s part of Fox News Media, has quietly opened up some of its choices to advertisers.

Subscribers who recently streamed “Duck Family Treasure,” a new special featuring members of the Robertson family from the long-running series “Duck Dynasty,” probably saw something that binge-watchers often don’t see: commercials, the bottom third of the screen appears while the action above them continued.

More ads – from Camping World, a specialist in recreational vehicle sales – are on the way. After launching the first five episodes of the series, Fox Nation will unveil five more this Sunday. Camping World ads are displayed. In addition to Fox Nation promotions, Camping World also sponsored an hour-long “Duck Family Treasure” special on Fox News Channel last Sunday. Ads for the company ran throughout the show.

“It’s very rare,” says Jeff Collins, executive vice president of advertising sales at Fox News Media, of commercials on Fox Nation. He adds, “We don’t do it to excess, and we certainly don’t do it in most programs.”

But Fox Nation is doing it anyway, even as other premium services made early offers. Disney is preparing to launch a new ad-supported version of Disney+ with just four minutes of advertising per hour and has sold availability in the industry’s “upfront” market. Netflix has also signaled its intention to offer ads at a lower price point, and its executives said at the Cannes advertising festival this week that the company is in talks with outside parties who could serve as potential partners in its new sales venture.

Getting an ad on Fox Nation isn’t easy. “We only do this for select, large partnerships,” says Collins, who notes that the endorsement deal with Camping World is part of a “multi-million dollar deal.” Fox is hoping to sell broader inventory packages, he says, that could include streaming as well as traditional television capable of capturing a “live” audience.

The company will consider running ads on other Fox Nation series, he says, but it won’t run them the usual way: interrupting 30-second spots. Collins says Fox would prefer to place the ads within the program, at the bottom of the screen and in other ways that don’t distract the viewer from the selected program. “We stick to billboards, lower thirds,” he says.

Fox News Media believes advertisers will be interested in a broader range of programming that focuses on lifestyle rather than hard news or politics. While Fox Nation initially posed as a sort of “Netflix for conservatives” when it launched in 2018, the service has shifted its focus to true-crime shows like “Cops” and documentaries. Sure, it still streams programs that appeal to its cable sibling’s conservative base.

Collins thinks sponsors may be interested in a new Yellowstone National Park documentary series narrated by Kevin Costner or a Patriot Awards show. “We’re focusing more and more on lifestyle” on Fox Nation, says Collins. “We have a lot of new content that we’re having a lot of conversations about” with advertisers. Fox Nation sells ads ahead of Netflix or Disney+

Charles Jones

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